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The Full History Of Ruf

The guys at Donut Media are nothing if not excited. A car doesn’t make anything so pedestrian as horsepower, they make HRSPRS. If those HRSPRS are especially stacked(preferably due to a steady diet of love and oats), they become #BUFFHORSES. 1987 isn’t just a year, it’s 8 years BPM (Before Post Malone). Anything worth saying is worth yelling. Creepy animations are always invited, and product placement is as likely to appear on the host’s body as on film. These are some truly enthusiastic enthusiasts, and this is what they think of Ruf.

Ruf has existed in one form or another since the 1950s, but emerged in the form we know today in the late 1970s and early 1980s with the SCR, BTR, and CTR. Between crushing supercar royalty in a 1987 Road & Track top speed test and creating the first great video of a street car on the ‘Ring, Ruf has been cemented in the popular consciousness for more than three decades.

Over the last two years the brand has taken their manufacturer designation to new heights, creating their first all in-house cars in the marque’s history. These re-imagined takes on the CTR and SCR may look like 911s, but are virtually all-original creations.

Though the video does have some minor errors (and we do mean minor, like asserting that Ruf added dry-sump oiling to a 911 when creating the SCR), it’s still an enjoyable watch laden with off-kilter humor and commendable enthusiasm.

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Is Subaru’s BRZ the spiritual successor to Porsche’s iconic 944?

Despite our name, Flatsixes loves transaxle Porsches. Between Bradley and myself, we currently own four 944s and 924s. Project 944 GTS, (which will have an update soon, by the way) is among my favorite cars I’ve ever owned. Barring often extremely cheap early Boxsters, it’s hard to beat the 944’s smile per dollar ratio. That said, the newest 944s are nearly as old as I am. While that’s young for a human, nearly three decades is quite elderly for a sports car, especially one you want to use every day.

Enter the Subaru BRZ and Toyota 86.

Jakob and Yuri from the Straight Pipes posited that in terms of driving fun, the BR-Z is like a junior 911. We don’t think that’s accurate. While it does have a slightly Porsche-like boxer engine, that is about where the similarities between the BRZ and Porsche’s senior sports car end. I would argue that the BRZ is the spiritual heir to the 944.

An Unlikely Pair

When the nigh-identical Toyobaru twins debuted back in 2012, they were immediately the subject of criticism. While the pair offered excellent driving dynamics, their modest output has been continually under fire since their debut. In an era of 400+ horsepower Mustangs, a 200 horsepower sports coupe seems rather underwhelming. Indeed, 200 horsepower is solidly in hot hatch territory rather than sports car territory in 2019. Just a few horsepower separate the pair from my own Fiesta ST.

For long time Porsche fans, this all sounds rather familiar. When the 924 launched in the 1970s, its double-digit output wasn’t even impressive for the depths of the malaise era; a sad time when 150 horsepower Corvettes and 140 horsepower Mustang IIs were top-sellers in the United States. These criticisms followed the 924 through its first evolution into the 944. Though power was up significantly, to about 150 horsepower, the car was not going to win the stoplight drags, despite coming with a significantly higher pricetag than Corvette and Mustang.

But, the 944 and the Toyobaru are not meant for that- they are designed to deliver driving pleasure in a different way. Through superbly balanced chassis, the 944 and BRZ are meant to be engaging when the road winds, not when it snaps straight. The BRZ is more overtly meant to slide than the 944, blame the low rolling resistance tires installed on most variants. With grippier rubber the BRZ can do a credible imitation of the 30-year old Porsche.

Indeed, getting out of my ~200 horsepower 944S and in to a BRZ feels more like reinterpretation than revolution. The dashes are simple, all the controls are driver oriented, even the reach from the steering wheel to the shifter is nearly the same. From the driver’s seat, the two are most clearly separated by their steering. Compared to the quick ratio rack in the Subaru, the Porsche’s sluggish rack feels rather bus-like.

The Porsches do have some advantages; where the BRZ has craved more power from the beginning, Porsche answered the brought out more powerful models midway through the 944’s life cycle. The 2.5-liter S offers slightly less power than a BRZ, but the Turbo, Turbo S, S2, and 968 all have a power advantage over the Subaru. Barring the early 8-valve cars, every 944 offers more torque than the BRZ, making it an easy car to drive in traffic.

The 944’s big aluminum four also sounds significantly better than the Subaru’s boxer, though that may just be my biases talking.

Takeaways

Though one car was designed as an entry-level sports-luxury car, and the other as a tuner’s dream, the Subaru/Toyota, and Porsche have a lot in common. Yuri and Jakob felt that the BRZ was like a Porsche on a budget, though that is only when compared to the 911. With the exception of rare or very low mileage cars, most 944s are still significantly cheaper than a new BRZ (or most used ones, for that matter).

For those of us who want to scratch the 944 itch, but need the security that comes with a new car and a warranty, the BRZ is about as close as you can get to the classic transaxle Porsche formula.

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Porsche’s 993 Carrera RS Is Like A GT3 Before The GT3 Existed

Porsche’s GT range, at least as we understand it today, began with the 993 GT2. That rear-wheel drive, 444 horsepower, aggressively flared monster was the first use of the GT moniker on a modern Porsche. However, the car that came to define the GT line, the GT3, has much more in common with this car; the Carrera RS. Though it does not share the GT name, this 993 shares many of the hallmarks of the GT3 road cars. Though power was up only slightly compared to contemporary Carreras, the RS primarily improved performance by shedding weight. Indeed, the Carrera RS is 600lbs lighter than a 993 Turbo. Just 1,104 were produced over the model’s two year run, and Doug DeMuro is here to show you its quirks and features.

A Porsche of this stature may call for more than even Doug’s typical exuberance, so please accept this very excited German man as a substitute. While Mr. DeMuro’s usual videos focus on the many pieces of equipment found in most modern cars, the Carrera RS is rather the opposite. The RS is defined mostly by what it lacks compared to a standard 993. Without rear seats, door pockets, or a sunroof, the car doesn’t have much in the way of gadgets to keep Doug entertained. As a result, this is one of his shortest features in quite some time.

Though it was not officially a GT car, this 296 horsepower, lightweight, naturally-aspirated 993 shares much of what makes the later water-cooled GT3 cars so appealing. Though down on power, even compared to the earliest 996 GT3, the 2,750lb Carrera RS remains a potent performer today. Just look at Doug’s face from behind the wheel.

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The Story of the 1957 Emory Outlaw Speedster

About two years ago I had the pleasure of sitting down for dinner with Rod Emory. Over the mutli-course meal provided by our friends at Michelin, I had the opportunity to listen at length to a bona-fide Porsche legend. Rod turned out to be soft-spoken and unfailingly modest. His calm manner seemingly only built in furor when discussing clever solutions to the quirks of classic Porsches. Though best known for his signature Outlaws, which range from relatively tame to the wildest 356-based creations ever conceived, Rod also restores classic Porsches to their former glory. This car, a 1957 Speedster, is a mix of the two styles.

A racecar from nearly new, this ’57 Speedster was one of about twenty similar cars that participated in the Speedster Wars on California circuits in the 50s and 60s. By the time it came to Rod in the late 1990s, decades of competition had left the car rather ragged. The owner wished to continue to race the car, and as such it received a new nose, extensive bodywork, and chassis stiffening. Rod also crafted a custom headrest, faring, metal tonneau cover, and even integrated concealed suspension adjusters into the cockpit.

Curiously though, the car was to remain road-legal, allowing it to participate in road rallies as well as circuit events. After years of use in its open-top configuration, the owner commissioned a brave addition- a Glaspar removable hardtop that accommodated the faring behind the driver’s headrest. To the average home fabricator, this would be an unbelievable challenge. To Rod, this, and all the other difficulties involved in constructing this car, were just another day at the office for the world’s most demure Porsche fabricator.

Build photos for this distinctive Speedster can be found on the Emory Motorsports website.

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Here Are Some Of The Loudest Porsche Race Cars Of All Time

Porsche’s glorious flat six engine is known for its sonorous high-RPM note, and when the engine is unmuffled, it only sounds better, but is also much louder. Often times, at big racing events, the Porsche competitors are driving the loudest cars on track. There are some Porsche engines that are even louder than that, however, as the 928’s V8 can make a huge rumble, and Porsche’s Formula 1 flat-eight is louder still. The loudest thing Porsche has in the collection, though, is allegedly the 1974 911 Turbo RSR.

At 138 decibels, the Turbo RSR is nearly as loud as a small jet engine aircraft taking off. It’s loud enough to cause hearing damage after more than 30 seconds of exposure. It’s not just a weapon on the track, but an attack on the senses. Literally.

Across the top five, Porsche’s assembled a few really rare and really exciting race car models. Obviously, without the need for mufflers, race cars are quite loud at the race track, but I can imagine they feel quite a bit louder standing feet away from the loud end while in a quiet museum building. The premise of this video is absurd, but incredible at the same time. You can tell these two are just having a blast doing their job.

 

 
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